NOVEMBER 12, 2020
A Creative Community Newsletter for Information and Inspiration
To promote equity and inclusion in the creative industries, we use our newsletter each month to amplify voices of BIPOC creatives in Washington State. We hand over the newsletter and invite a creative of color to populate it with information and inspiration that reflects their perspective and their community.

At the end of this newsletter, Whipsmart will reserve the GET INFORMED section for our breaking news, but all other sections remain curated. 

We hope you love our fourth guest curated newsletter as much as we do!
Meet Our Guest Curator, Remelisa Cullitan (they/them/theirs)
Remelisa Cullitan, Photo credit, Don Derosier
Greetings from Spokane, Washington! My name is Remelisa Cullitan. My ancestry is made up of Filipinx/Chinese/Irish/German. I am a professional artist focused on making body/identity positive works, an independent contract curator, and arts advocate on Spokane's Arts Commission as a board member. I'm also an artist mentor, and co-creator of GlitterCouch, a partnership devoted to elevating artists’ voices and arts-focused events. I was born in Spokane and currently still reside in Spokane with my wife and three fluffy cats. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in art history. I received both degrees from Eastern Washington University in 2016.

Being neurodivergent, art has played a significant role in my learning. I believe everyone is creative, they just need access and exposure to finding the right outlet to express their creativity. Visual art is my voice. I use art as a way for me to communicate with the world. Too often my spoken voice is silenced or ignored, but my voice in art has allowed me to speak my mind in a way that is challenging to ignore. I truly believe if more people made art, and valued the voices in art, that we can truly begin to heal a lot of generational trauma.

With this newsletter, I hope to show that creativity is everywhere. The potential is always there, but we need passionate individuals and groups to advocate for access, exposure, and encouragement.
Learn and Grow in Your Practice

We should all be striving to improve ourselves in small ways, and when it comes to making art you should learn and grow in your practice from the creative side to the business side. Here are a few links that I use for my own growth:

Artist Trust is a fantastic resource for all Washingtonians (and honestly even those outside our state lines). They have accessible resources to help artists grow professionally, and a wide variety of creative opportunities that you should not sleep on. Artists should also look into their funding opportunities like Grants for Artistic Projects (GAP).

Spokane Arts is much like Artist Trust but with localized opportunities for the east side of Washington State. Their website offers a local artists roster, local/regional/national arts opportunity listings, and they also provide educational workshops to help artists grow their practice. They have a local grant opportunity for those living and working in the City of Spokane called the Spokane Arts Grant Awards (SAGA).

Call for Entry (CaFÉ) is one of the first sites introduced to me as an emerging artist. Artists can create a free account and search through their numerous opportunities. My only word of caution is to read the requirements on a call listing carefully.

Keep your brain engaged with this Smarthistory YouTube channel. I really appreciate how they review a piece of art - design elements, historical context, and how we can relate to it in our current time.

I was introduced to the site at university in my digital art courses. They have a thorough library of high quality, professional lesson videos such as step by step tutorials for both creative and office practices. If your budget is limited you should check out your local library! In Spokane County, as long as you have an active library card, is free to access.

Speaking of libraries, may I just brag about the amazingness of libraries? While I love my books and combing through the archives, libraries (in my experience in Spokane) have kicked it up several notches with free online courses for furthering education and availability to databases (grants, businesses, scholarly articles, news sources). Before the pandemic, they even offered free rental film and audio equipment, a filming space, and free access to programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as Premiere Pro for video editing.
Ginger Ewing, Photo credit, Lumiere Tintype Photography
Ginger Ewing (she/her/hers) is a local champion for the arts. I am tremendously proud to have worked alongside her on several projects and I admire her as one of my art admin role models! She is someone to look up to!
Ginger, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been surrounded by art and creativity for a good portion of my life, however, my arts career — as well as my propension for thinking a bit more unconventionally — really began while I was the Curator for Cultural Literacy at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC). While there, I developed and administered many programs from scratch including an in-depth professional development program for regional high-school students interested in becoming exhibit interpreters; a K-20 American Indian educational program; and a monthly after-hours program meant to draw in new museum goers. I also helped to curate many exhibitions and was trained in Visual Thinking Strategies, a student-centered teaching methodology centered around art. Perhaps most importantly, it was my time at the MAC where I began to contemplate questions like who did and did not have access to art. Why some people seemed more comfortable engaging with art than others, and who largely — both historically and currently — had the power to define what art is.

Simultaneous to this work, myself, my now husband, and 3 of our friends started Terrain with the hopes of building community around art. A community that broke down silos, focused on equity, celebrated the many different kinds of artistic expression, and worked to give a voice to people typically not invited to sit at the table. Fast forward a decade and a half later, and I am blessed to witness the transformational power of art each and every day. Especially in historically defining times — like the moment we’re living in — where the important role artists and the arts play comes into laser focus. I’m so excited to be a part of a community of people doing such powerful work.
Event-goers enjoying live music at the Terrain 10 event in 2017*
How did you start Terrain? And what inspired you
to start Terrain and its programs?

Sick of watching young and creative people leave Spokane for cities with more established networks, our initial vision was simple: create new artistic hope for community members who had been overlooked, devalued, siloed, or silenced.
We began as a single one-night event known simply as Terrain, with the goal of getting as many different kinds of people — and artistic expressions — into the same room, at the same time and see what would happen. The first Terrain, we showcased 30 artists to 1,200 attendees.

More than a decade later, we’re building on our initial vision by working toward four core strategies: 1) Building Community through Art and Creativity; 2) Supporting Artists and the Arts; 3) Making the Case for the Arts; and 4) Catalyzing Creative Businesses. In 2019, our original flagship event highlighted 247 artists to an audience of 13,000, and sold 10s of thousands of dollars worth of art. Throughout the years we’ve added 2 additional annual events (both art markets i.e. Bazaar and BrrrZAAR) where vendors sell an average of $120,000 worth of art and handmade goods in a single day. Terrain also runs a retail storefront (From Here) showcasing the work of over 70+ local artists; a gallery space (Terrain Gallery); an art-driven beautification program (Window Dressing); and a professional development program (Creative Enterprise) for artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Occasionally we also take on special projects like our Black Lives Matter Mural partnership, or our partnership with the Spokane Symphony (Uncharted) which pairs poets, musicians, performance artists, dancers, and visual artists with symphony players. One of the things that has come into clearer focus for us over the years is that our mission intentionally contradicts white supremacy culture’s focus on disconnection, self-sufficiency, and individualism for a culture that is built around true connection. Something we’re not only incredibly proud of, but that we work really hard to center ourselves around. Our hashtag is #weallbuildthis, and we fervently believe it.
Taken at the Terrain Gallery for Take Pride in June 2019*
What do you foresee for artists in Spokane
and in Washington State in 2021?

I would be remiss to not first recognize that the pandemic will most likely continue to have a profound impact on artists. It’s been heartbreaking on so many levels and I hope we — as individuals, cities, and the state — continue to find ways to support and invest in artists any way we can. For if we don't, as a friend of mine likes to say, “we will have not truly survived this pandemic.”

Secondly, there are 2 quotes I keep returning to over the last several months:
Kendrick Lamar’s “There is no revolution without art;” and Nina Simone’s “An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.” I think — and I hope — that we’ll see artists at the forefront of an extending social uprising, continuing to build power, and demanding systemic, dynamic, and meaningful change.

Lastly, be it through song, poetry, paintings, murals, dance, Zoom performances, op-eds, etc., I think we’ll continue to see artists do what they do best: Bring meaning and feeling and comfort and connection, and expression and understanding and an overall awareness that we are not alone.
Breaking Down Barriers to Learning and Creating
The grand opening of From Here on Main Street in Spokane*
Spokane has a growing arts community and here are some organizations that foster growth and encourage the arts for everyone!

Spark Central is a local nonprofit in Spokane focused on breaking down barriers to learning and creating. They cover a gamut of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, the Arts, and Mathematics) programs for youth and adults. A majority of these programs are free and range from coding, robotics, writing, art, and my favorite summer/fall program, Girls Rock Lab.

Art Salvage is an amazing reuse art supply shop for artists, teachers, and all creative makers. They also have a unique teaching opportunity for teaching artists to teach classes in their workshop room and artists teaching can get paid for their time!

Spokane Arts is such a fantastic local resource from networking, educational, and public art opportunities. They also have a granting program available to all creatives living and working in the City of Spokane, which is called SAGA.

Terrain Spokane has a wide umbrella of programs all focused on artists and how artists can thrive in our city. From their downtown shop, From Here that sells local artists’ and artisans’ creations, to Terrain, their annual one-night only showcase of art, music, film, performance, and literary creatives! Terrain’s mission is to provide artists the platform to make a living through their art.

Laboratory is Spokane’s interactive art residency. They both support local, national, and international artists through their residency. Not only do new faces come through to experience our small/big town, but those of us who don’t get to travel much get the chance to check out new ideas and global concepts through interactive and technology-driven works.
Revising Art History
BLM mural in Spokane, Washington*
In twenty years from now, 2020 is going to have its own chapter in the history books. Well, it might even have two chapters. As an art historian, I have been looking to the art that has been made during this short time and documenting records for the future. As a person of color, I am hyper aware that many history books taught in my public schools were incredibly one-sided and it is my mission to bring forth perspectives that are not of a white cis-male lens.

I am beyond inspired by the teardown of monuments that uplift bigoted ideology and the new art that replaces their platforms.

Waawiiyatanong Resurgence. My breath caught in my throat seeing this image on Instagram. Photographer Rosa María Zamarrón, captured this iconic moment in Detroit, Michigan, after the removal of a Christopher Columbus statue that was then transformed into a stunning moment of four Indigenous women in traditional dresses taking center stage in a powerful way.

Ballerina Teens. Another breathtaking image that has stopped my heart (in a good way) are Ava Holloway and Kennedy George in their ballerina attire, posing in front of the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia. The painted words and symbols are amazing to pick through, but seeing these two young women, on pointe, fist raised in the air is everything and more.

Black Lives Matter Murals from East to West; Spokane to Seattle. There has always been a weird sibling rivalry between Eastern Washington and Western Washington, but let’s be frank - the street mural in Capitol Hill, Seattle inspired and emboldened Spokane residents to step up in the Black Lives Matter movement. Both murals stand on collaboration and each letter is amazingly unique. And now we have 32 regional BIPOC artists to take note of.

Be sure to check out these fantastic artists who are making a lasting impact in their communities.

*All photos provided by Terrain unless otherwise credited
The Latest from Whipsmart's Staff
Save the Date for Washington Filmworks’ End of Year Event: There's Snow Place Like Home on Thursday, December 17th at 7:00 pm. Check out the details here. While you wait, you can participate! Make a short video message to be included in this special night. We would love to see your face and share your story with the statewide film industry! For more information on how to submit, check out this page. It will be so ice to see you!

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness applications are still being accepted. There has been some confusion about whether applications for PPP loan forgiveness were due Oct. 31 but the U.S. Small Business Administration has reassured applicants there is no defined deadline. Business owners can still apply and use the simplified application which significantly reduces the time and paperwork needed for PPP loan forgiveness. Read the SBA’s “6 Things About PPP Loan Forgiveness You Should Know” for more info.

There are new phone hours for the Employment Security Claims Center so they can process claims and get eligible claimants their payments faster. Read the full announcement. Keep in mind, the fastest and easiest way to submit weekly claims is using eServices, but claimants can submit weekly claims using their automated phone system, 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 4 p.m. Friday.
At Whipsmart, we are unapologetic advocates for creative people and businesses. We give creative professionals the tools they need to succeed, by meeting them where they’re at—offering intentionally curated mentorships, job opportunities, and business resources scaled to every stage of their career.